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PMC BAlikatan Exercise (Photo: Staff Sgt Marc Ayalin - U.S. Marine Corps, WikiMedia Commons, cropped)

Colloquium with Dr. Mesrob Vartavarian

Wednesday, October 16, 2019
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
10383 Bunche Hall
UCLA Campus
Los Angeles, CA 90095
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Militaries in modern Southeast Asia exercise power within their respective states due to processes of politico-economic accumulation that began during the Second World War. Subsequent Cold War-era developments deepened and extended praetorian networks across local, national, and supranational axes. Militaries obtained access to resources beyond the direct control of civilian governments and consequently imposed themselves on those governments. Contemporary trends toward democratization have limited praetorian networks in some instances, but not in others. This talk explores potential reasons for praetorian resilience in Burma, praetorian contraction in Indonesia, and praetorian consolidation in the Philippines.

Mesrob Vartavarian is a Visiting Fellow at Cornell University’s Southeast Asia Program. He studied history at UCLA (BA/MA) and Cambridge (PhD) and began his career as a scholar of early colonial South Asia but has since shifted his research focus to modern Southeast Asia with an emphasis on the Philippines. His interests include colonial state formation, plunder politics, borderland insurgencies by ethnic minorities, postcolonial praetorian regimes, and Cold War-era conflicts across insular and mainland states. His publications have appeared in Modern Asian Studies, the Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, South East Asia Research, Kyoto Review of Southeast Asia, and the IIAS Newsletter. Dr. Vartavarian is currently working on a monograph-length study of the Philippine military after Marcos.


Followed by CSEAS Welcome Reception.

RSVP Required:

Sponsor(s): Center for Southeast Asian Studies